Contributor's Notes

Translated by Khaled Mattawa

Photo of Khaled Mattawa

Khaled Mattawa

Khaled Mattawa is the William Wilhartz Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. His latest book of poems is Fugitive Atlas (Graywolf, 2020). Mattawa is editor-in-chief of Michigan Quarterly Review.


Photo of Saadi Youssef

Saadi Youssef

Saadi Youssef (1934-2021) is considered one of the most important contemporary poets in the Arab world. He was born near Basra, Iraq. Following his experience as a political prisoner in Iraq, he has spent most of his life in exile, working as a teacher and literary journalist throughout North Africa and the Middle East. He is the author of over forty books of poetry. Youssef has also published two novels and a book of short stories, and several books of essay and memoir. Youssef, who spent the last two decades of his life in London, was a leading translator to Arabic of works by Walt Whitman, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Federico Garcia Lorca, among many others. The collection Without an Alphabet Without a Face: Selected Poems (Graywolf, 2003), translated by Khaled Mattawa, offers a wide selection from Youssef's earlier work from 1955 to 1997.